You have to try this Hungarian Chicken Paprikash with Dumplings! I'm half Hungarian, and worked hard to develop the best paprikash recipe! Enjoy this tender chicken simmered in a paprika-infused sauce finished with sour cream.
Chicken Paprikash with Dumplings holds a special place in my heart, because it reminds me of my Hungarian grandparents, as well as Nonna.
Grandpa and Grandma were Hungarian immigrants who owned Gold Cross Pharmacy on Woodhill Road in Cleveland. (Grandpa was a pharmacist, and Grandma ran the Post Office there. Dad was a "soda jerk" making ice cream floats.)
After Grandma died, Grandpa would come to our house for Sunday dinners. Mom often prepared dishes such as Chicken Paprikash (paprikás), Beef Stroganoff, and Swiss Steak for him.
Nonna would be there too, helping Mom to cook.
And, since dumplings are similar to pasta, Nonna was all over them. She'd get so excited about the "trrahm-poh-leens," as she pronounced them. We still call them that in her memory!
Over the years, I did some experimenting to come up with my version of Hungarian Chicken Paprikash with Dumplings. It's a family favorite, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Chicken paprikash ingredients
Chicken: Bone-in chicken provides the best flavor for paprikash and is traditional. I use a combination of drumsticks and thighs, but you can use all thighs, for example.
We're skinning them for a less greasy dish and to let the seasonings and flour cling to the meat.
Onions: Use yellow onions for bold flavor. But, feel free to substitute red onions for sweeter flavor or white onions for a milder taste.
Paprika: There's a generous amount of paprika in this recipe, so it's important to go with one you'll enjoy. I recommend using sweet Hungarian paprika (affiliate link).
In general, Hungarian paprika has more of a spicy kick than regular paprika. Beware, if you use hot Hungarian paprika, you'll get a spicy hot dish.
Sour Cream: Using full-fat sour cream will produce a smooth paprikash sauce. You can substitute low-fat sour cream for a lighter gravy, but it doesn't blend in as well.
Stock: Using chicken stock instead of broth provides deeper flavor. I use stock in any recipe that calls for broth.
Just like pasta, Hungarian dumplings (nokedli) include flour, eggs, water and salt. Sometimes, milk is used instead of water, but I prefer the texture that comes from using water.
How to make Hungarian chicken paprikash
See the card at the end of this post for the full recipe, but here's an overview.
Flour the chicken
- Remove the skin from the chicken by pulling it off with a paper towel.
- Dredge each piece of chicken in seasoned flour.
- When all of the chicken is floured, you're ready to start cooking.
Cook the chicken
- Heat oil in a deep 12-inch skillet (affiliate link) and add sliced onions.
- When the onions are tender, add the chicken to brown the first side.
- Flip the chicken to brown the other side. Then, pour in the paprika-infused stock. Cover and simmer on low until the meat is tender.
- Add dollops of sour cream to the pan and gently stir them into the sauce. Thicken the paprikash gravy with corn starch.
How to make dumplings from scratch
Traditional Hungarian dumplings are small because the batter is pushed through the holes of a grater or colander (like German spaetzle).
But we've always made medium-sized drop dumplings for Hungarian Chicken Paprikash. We prefer a more substantial, firm dumpling.
- Beat the eggs in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients.
- Stir just until all of the flour is incorporated into the batter.
- Use one teaspoon to scoop some batter and another teaspoon to scrape it into a pot of boiling water. Cook the dumplings in batches for 3-5 minutes, removing them 1-2 minutes after they float.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked dumplings to a serving pan.
- Flouring the chicken first helps thicken the sauce.
- Adding paprika to the dusting flour as well as the stock for the gravy ensures both the chicken and sauce are flavorful.
- Simmering the thighs and drumsticks longer than the minimum 25 minutes will produce more tender meat. If you use chicken breasts, though, they will be ready sooner.
What to serve with it
If you don't feel like making dumplings, you can serve Hungarian Chicken Paprikash over egg noodles, or even mashed potatoes.
For side dishes, consider something that doesn't require cooking on the stove. Go with Roasted Butternut Squash Cubes, The Best Italian Green Salad or Spinach Salad with Mandarin Oranges.
Frequently asked questions
This Hungarian Chicken Paprikash recipe makes enough for at least eight people, so it's great for leftovers. Feel free to make half of the recipe.
I often make half of the chicken but the full amount of paprikash gravy and dumplings, since my family eats huge portions of them.
Store leftover dumplings in the refrigerator and use them by the end of the next day. (They will start to turn grey after that.)
If you wish, you can cook half of the dumplings and save the rest of the batter in the refrigerator to cook fresh dumplings the next day.
More chicken recipes to love
- Braised Chicken in Red Wine Sauce (Coq au Vin)
- Chicken Sorrentino with Eggplant
- Italian Chicken Cutlets
- One-Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs and Vegetables
If you try this Hungarian Chicken Paprikash recipe, be sure to leave a comment and a rating!
Chicken Paprikash with Dumplings
Chicken Paprikash (You can halve the recipe if needed.)
- 3 small or 2 medium yellow onions (peeled & thinly sliced)
- 8 chicken thighs (skinned)
- 7 chicken drumsticks (skinned)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅓ teaspoon Hungarian paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus extra if needed to brown meat)
- 1 ½ cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika
- 8 ounces sour cream (can use low fat, but the gravy won't be as smooth)
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6 eggs (beaten)
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- water for boiling the dumplings
- 1 teaspoon salt for boiling the dumplings
- Peel and thinly slice onions. Set aside. In a dinner plate, combine flour with the garlic powder, ⅓ teaspoon paprika and ⅛ teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
- Skin chicken (use a paper towel to grasp the skin and pull it off.) Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Set up an assembly line from left to right with the chicken, the seasoned flour, and a 9x13 pan. Using a fork, dredge each piece of chicken in the flour on both sides and place the floured chicken in the pan.
- In a deep skillet (at least12 inches wide), heat the olive oil on medium high. Add the onions and cook them for six minutes or until they are soft, stirring occasionally.
- Add the chicken to the skillet with the onions and brown the meat on both sides, for a total of 7-10 minutes. (You can do this in batches if needed or use a second skillet to brown some of the chicken in a bit of olive oil.)
- While the chicken is browning, whisk 1 tablespoon paprika into 1 ½ cups of chicken stock. Place all of the browned chicken in the large skillet with the onions, and pour the seasoned chicken stock over it. Lower the heat to medium and cover the pan. Simmer for at least 25 minutes, or up to 40 minutes. The meat will be more tender the longer it cooks. (Check on it once during that time, to spoon some gravy over the chicken.)
- While the chicken is simmering, prepare the dumplings. Fill a pasta pot just over halfway with hot water. Add a teaspoon of salt to the water, cover the pot, and heat it on high. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs with a fork or whisk. Using a large spoon, stir in the flour, water, and 2 teaspoons of salt until well combined. (A whisk won't work well for that.)
- Place the bowl with batter near the stove, along with two regular teaspoons, a large slotted spoon, a clean 9x13 pan and a roll of foil.
- When the water is boiling, uncover the pot. Scoop a teaspoon of batter, and use the other teaspoon to scrape it off over the pot, so that the batter drops into the boiling water. Continue adding teaspoons of batter to the pot in a single layer, trying not to let the dumplings touch each other. (You will need to do this in batches.)
- Cook the dumplings for 3-5 minutes, depending on how firm you want them.The dumplings will float when they are almost cooked. (After the dumplings float, I usually wait a couple of minutes and then cut one open to taste it. Make sure it is cooked through. If it is too firm for your liking, cook it some more. You also can cut any large dumplings in half to finish cooking.)
- Use a slotted spoon (or strainer) to remove the cooked dumplings, letting any excess water drain back into the pot. Place the drained dumplings in your clean 9x13 pan and loosely cover them with foil to keep them warm. Keep your water boiling and continue cooking and draining the dumplings in batches until all of the batter is gone.
- When you are done cooking the dumplings, the chicken should be ready. Cut into a piece of chicken to make sure it is not pink inside. If the chicken is cooked, turn off the heat and add dollops of sour cream around the skillet, stirring carefully after each addition.
- To thicken the gravy, add a few tablespoons of the gravy to the corn starch in a cup and whisk together. Add the corn starch mixture to the skillet and carefully stir it in. You can taste the chicken and gravy to see if additional salt and pepper are needed, or just provide extra at the table.
- To serve, place a portion of dumplings in the center of each plate and top with the chicken and gravy. Add salt and/or black pepper if needed.
- Store leftover dumplings tightly covered in the refrigerator and use them by the end of the next day. (They will start to turn grey after that.) If you wish, you can just cook half of the dumplings and save the rest of the batter in the refrigerator to cook fresh dumplings the next day. Store any leftover chicken and gravy in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- This recipe makes a lot of chicken, which is great for leftovers. You can halve the recipe, if needed. Sometimes, I reduce the chicken part of the recipe by half, but make the full amount of gravy and dumplings, since my family eats lots of them!
- If you are making the amount of chicken called for in the recipe, you may want to use a second skillet to brown the chicken in oil.
- Paprika: There's a generous amount of paprika in this recipe, so it's important to go with one you'll enjoy. I recommend using sweet Hungarian paprika (affiliate link). In general, Hungarian paprika has more of a spicy kick than regular paprika. Beware, if you use hot Hungarian paprika, you'll get a spicy hot dish.
(Recipe Source: Cooking with Mamma C. Originally published on October 2, 2014 and updated now with additional photos and information.)
Another delicious, go to chicken recipe! Even used light sour cream and boneless chicken breasts, did add a little corn starch but may not be needed as gravy thickens. Love that this can be made early in the day then reheated, boneless breasts cooked most tender of any recipe. Husband loved it and chicken not his favorite.
Thank you again Mamma C.
Hi Ann - I'm so glad this was a hit! Thanks for letting me know it worked well with boneless chicken breasts.
My grandma cooked an old stewing hen all day. Great flavor! We also fried our dumplings. They’re really good that way.
Hi B - Oh, wow. I have to try frying the dumplings!
I married into a family with the same background as your family. My husband is very familiar with the neighborhood in Cleveland as he was born there. Your recipes bring back memories of his Mother and when she would prepare these foods. Thank you for sharing. I am in the process of learning to make all her Christmas goodies.
Hi Linda - I'm glad my recipes bring back memories for your husband. Thanks for taking the time to let me know. It's sweet of you to learn to make your mother-in-law's specialties.
I am so glad I came across this recipe I sounds just like the one my grandma use to make I will let you know how it turns out also she use to make Swiss steak too if you have a recipe I would love to have it
Hi Debbie - I'm glad you found my recipe too! I hope you enjoy it. My mom used to make Swiss steak too. I had started testing a recipe years ago and will have to work on it again.
Me too!!! Thanks!!! As my name implies, it comes from the Austro-Hungarian Era. But my grandmother was Polish? She passed her recipe down to my Mom who lived through the Nazi occupation of Luxembourg and helped pave the way for the great liberator Americans to walk through a mine field around the time of the Battle of the Bulge! Anyway, your recipe looks like what I grew up with from my Mom (God rest her soul, passed 1/3/21) and Grandmom! I'm a spoiled brat that doesn't cook much, so I asked my wife if she could try it for me. Looking forward to the results!!! Thank You!!! And as you can tell, there's a history here for this also!
Hi Richard - Thank you for sharing your history and taking the time to read mine. I'm so sorry for the loss of your mom. I hope you love this recipe and that it brings back wonderful memories!